How to Look Great on Vacation

Prepare to turn heads and feel your best, on the plane ride and at your destination.
look great on vacation

BEACH

The Look: A shorts romper with wedge sandals and a wide-brimmed raffia hat. Keep your hair loose and wear simple beaded bracelets.

Style: "A loose romper with a little elastic at the waist is cuter than a tunic at the beach and just as comfortable," says New York City fashion director Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln. "And you can wear it straight out to lunch or sightseeing."

Beauty: Pack no-fuss sunscreen towelettes that you just swipe across your skin. "Unlike lotions, these will never create a mess in your bag," says Sanchez-Lincoln.

Feel-Good Factor: "After a day at the beach, nothing feels better than cool aloe vera lotion on your skin," says Sanchez-Lincoln. Buy it at a local drugstore, then stash it in your room's minifridge to chill. "It's soothing, which is especially important under the hot tropical sun."

look great on vacation

CITY

The Look: Slim, dark jeans with ballet flats, a striped tee and a lightweight trench coat. Accessorize with a bright tote and Lucite necklaces.

Style: The secret for looking and feeling at home in any metropolis is wearing basic pieces in neutral colors, dressed up with accessories, says Sanchez-Lincoln. "Lucite jewelry adds a modern look and is inexpensive, so you don't have to stress about leaving it in the hotel room."

Beauty: "Wear a bright lip gloss," says Sandra Soich, a Miami stylist. "Using lip color is the easiest way to look 'done,' but unlike lipstick, you can apply gloss all day without it getting cakey. You don't even need a mirror." (Perfect for hours of sightseeing.)

Feel-Good Factor: "Uncomfortable shoes can ruin your trip," says Soich. Fitzwell's have padded soles and built-in gel inserts. Bring bandages, just in case.

look great on vacation

MOUNTAIN

The Look: Cotton cargo pants with two loose, scoop-neck tank tops -- one bright, one neutral. Wear a cross-body leather bag with sporty sandals.

Style: "This bag keeps your hands free while you're exploring," says Sanchez-Lincoln. Stuff a light jacket in your bag, even if it's sunny, says Candis Ayers, spa director at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder, Colorado. "Storms roll over the mountains out of nowhere."

Beauty: "Dry air can cause static," says stylist Elad Bentov of New York City's Valery Joseph Salon. To help, skip the heat styling -- the blow-dryer shouldn't join your vacation anyway.

Feel-Good Factor: "The altitude dehydrates you, so drink tons of water," says Ayers. "I put decaf tea bags at the bottom of my water bottles to infuse them with flavor," says Suzanne Stonebarger, a pro volleyball player and skincare specialist.

look great on vacation

DESERT

The Look: A flowy white linen dress with simple metallic sandals, big sunglasses, a floppy hat and a canvas tote bag.

Style: "Loose white linen or cotton doesn't absorb heat," says Soich. Relaxed fit is key -- with anything too fitted, you risk sweat stains. Remember that desert temps can drop drastically after dark. "Add a cardigan or shawl," says Soich.

Beauty: Dust your cheeks with bronzer or bright blush. "Adding contour and color to your cheeks will make you pop in pictures," says Stonebarger, who lives in Phoenix.

Feel-Good Factor: "Get up with the sun," says Samantha Malone-Telesford, spa director at the Ritz-Carlton in Marana, Arizona. "Desert sunrises are gorgeous, and rising early allows you to be outside before it gets hot. Then take a midday nap when the sun is at its peak."

HOW TO LOOK GREAT ON A PLANE

Hydrate Yourself
Your skin gets mighty thirsty on a plane. Tote a tiny, TSA-approved spray bottle of water and spritz your face, neck and the back of your hands every hour or two. Immediately apply a rich moisturizer to trap the H20.

Layer On
Multiple light pieces are the way to go, as plane temps can ricochet between tropical and teeth-chattering. Try a thin tee, a bright hoodie and an anorak over leggings. Stick to flight-friendly fabrics, like cotton-lycra blends and lightweight wool, because they're comfy and breathable, and they rarely wrinkle.

Pull Back
Plane air leaves hair lifeless and oily at the roots (your scalp goes into overdrive to fight off dry conditions). Skip the styling and go for a low pony, which will look neat and keep hair from getting unruly. Brush your hair once in the bathroom to distribute the oils from your scalp onto the dry hair below.

Sock 'Em
Pick shoes that are easy to slip in and out of, which you'll need to do at security and might want to do once you're in the air. And always wear socks, so your feet don't get cold on the plane -- and so you won't have to be barefoot on the much-trafficked floor under the airport metal detector (yuck).

Rub On
Tote the all-purpose miracle potion Smith's Rosebud Salve ($4.25, rosebudsalve.com). It can be applied to lips, cheeks and eyelids to prevent chapped lips and skin, and will keep you glowing -- and smelling subtly sweet -- across several time zones.

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